Herbes de Provence is a mixture of summer herbs that commonly grow in the hills of Provence, a hot and sunny province on France's southeastern tip bordering Italy. Appropriate to use in any Mediterranean recipe, Herbes de Provence is especially wonderful when combined with olive oil and added to grilled chicken or fish.
Like Fines Herbes, bouquet garni, Chinese Five Spice or Indian curry powder, Herbes de Provence as a homemade herb blend will vary in components and proportions from house to house. In general, though, Herbes de Provence contains savory, fennel, basil, thyme flowers, rosemary, bay leaf, chervil, tarragon, marjoram, and mint, with thyme being the dominant ingredient and flavor.
Herbes de Provence as a store-bought, pre-packaged herbal blend was concocted in 1970's and at that point began to also include Provencal lavender -- an ingredient which is not used in traditional French mixes but is delicious nonetheless.
Herbes de Provence is popular on grilled foods such as fish and meat, on roasting poultry, as well as in vegetable stews. The herb blend can be added to foods at any point in the cooking process, or can be mixed with cooking oil prior to cooking so as to infuse the flavour into the cooked food. Because of the prickly nature of dried thyme and rosemary, herbs de Provence is rarely added after cooking is complete.
Herbes de Provence is a perfect match to summer's best tomatoes, can jazz up store-bought pizza sauce, and its presence can transform oven-roasted potatoes into a main dish. Add a pinch or two of Herbes de Provence to hot coals when grilling to infuse your dinner with sumptuous smoky flavor.
Ingredients: Savory, fennel, basil, thyme, and lavender.